My student Antonio highlighted some of the positive and negative aspects of using a Kindle in the classroom. I was hoping he would be more effusive in his praise, but instead, Antonio was measured — and sometimes critical.
According to Antonio, the Kindle’s novelty wears off, and the device is confusing to use. Besides having a few advantages to a book — for example, its weight and its ability to annotate — the Kindle cannot compete with its physical, non-digital counterpart, Antonio said.
Here’s the podcast in full. The interview begins at 16:08 and lasts about 15 minutes.
Mr. Edgerly’s questions and Antonio’s responses got me thinking about how to improve my Kindle program next semester. Since September, I’ve used my five Kindles in both Advisory (for independent reading) and in AP English (for assigned books). It’s pretty clear that this strategy backfired. I assumed that students would like the Kindle automatically and be able to use the device without orientation. This was a wrong assumption.
Next semester, I will devote all of my Kindles (now seven!) to Advisory. After all, the Kindle is much better for immersive, rather than academic, reading. Instead of looking for volunteers interested in using the Kindle, I will make sure all my advisees have a chance to use it for a month, and I will do a better job connecting my students with books they’ll enjoy. In addition, because I received a small grant through DonorsChoose at the beginning of the year, students can purchase a title of their choice. That said, it’ll be important to conference with my students to get a better idea of what books they’re interested in reading. After all, as I said on the podcast, a Kindle is great, but only if you already know what you’re reading.
Overall, it was an honor to be on The Kindle Chronicles. Mr. Edgerly does an excellent job following the Kindle, and the experience got me thinking about ways I can change my program to get more students hooked on reading.